Skull & Bones has passed Alpha, as new report details the long path it’s taken there

Trials, tribulations, and somehow, the Singapore government

Skull & Bones, Ubisoft’s standalone pirate sim that’s undergone years of development and delays, has reached a milestone. In response to a new report from Kotaku, a spokesperson confirmed that Skull & Bones has just passed Alpha. But according to the report, it’s been quite a journey.

An Ubisoft spokesperson provided the following statement to Kotaku, in response to a list of questions:

“The Skull & Bones team are proud of the work they’ve accomplished on the project since their last update with production just passing Alpha, and are excited to share more details when the time is right. That being said, any unfounded speculation about the game or decisions being made only works to demoralize the team who are working very hard to develop an ambitious new franchise that lives up to the expectations of our players.

“Over the past year, we’ve made significant changes to our policies and processes to create a safe and more inclusive workplace and empower our teams to create games that reflect the diversity of the world we live in.”

Kotaku’s report, from both current and former Ubisoft developers as well as those familiar with the game’s development, outlines a process that’s dealt with too many managers vying for power, reboots and mini-refreshes, and no clear creative vision. According to Kotaku’s sources, Ubisoft has spent a significant amount of money on the project already, and that a deal with the Singapore government requires the launch of original brand new IPs from the Ubisoft Singapore branch in exchange for reported subsidies.

The full report goes greater into detail, with quotes from those familiar with the development, reporting on issues the project has dealt with over the years, and it’s very much worth reading the whole thing. This isn’t the first report indicating issues with Skull & Bones‘ development either, as another from VGC last year detailed a shifting approach to a live-service model.

Hopefully we see Skull & Bones surface at some point, though expectations from Ubisoft currently place the game somewhere past March 31, 2022.

Eric Van Allen